Free January Unit Studies and Lessons
Planning lessons around holidays, historical events, and seasonal themes can be a fun way to homeschool. It’s an excellent way for kids to learn about the world around them, including topics that aren’t usually covered in a textbook. Our family has enjoyed occasionally adding seasonal and holiday-themed lessons to our homeschool routine.
Below is a list of free unit studies, lesson plans, and activities for January. All of the holiday dates given are for 2023. Because the dates of some holidays vary, I will update this post each year. If you are looking for other months, check out our monthly unit studies and lesson plans page.
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Free January Unit Studies and Lessons for Month-Long Themes and Observances
National Thank You Month (all January)
National Thank You Month reminds us to take the time to thank others. People celebrate by writing thank you notes or cards or thanking people in person. Some people also find it an excellent time to start a gratitude journal.
- Freedom Homeschooling– printable Christmas thank you notes
- Teachers Pay Teachers– thank you note writing lesson
- Teachers Pay Teachers- thank you card template
National Hobby Month (all January)
National Hobby Month is a great time to focus on a favorite hobby or pick up a new hobby.
- Everything Mom– list of hobby ideas for kids
- Freedom Homeschooling– art curriculum
- Freedom Homeschooling– music curriculum
- Freedom Homeschooling– technology curriculum
- Freedom Homeschooling– resources for teaching kids to cook
National Eye Care Month (all January)
National Eye Care Month’s purpose is to remind us to schedule regular eye exams and care for our vision.
- Ellen Mchenry’s Basement Worksop– eye anatomy lesson plan
- Every Star is Different– Montessori-inspired eye mini unit
National Oatmeal Month (all January)
National Oatmeal Month celebrates the pantry staple purchased more in January than any other month. Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal or bake a batch of oatmeal cookies to celebrate.
National Soup Month (all January)
National Soup Month, observed during one of the coldest months, is the perfect time to warm up with a steaming bowl of delicious soup.
- Twins and Teaching– chicken soup recipe and video lesson
- National Agriculture in the Classroom– Who Grew My Soup? lesson plan
- Homeschool Share– Stone Soup unit study
Free January Unit Studies and Lessons for Week-Long Themes and Observances
Universal Letter Writing Week (January 8th through 14th)
Universal Letter Writing Week is a week dedicated to writing letters by hand. It is observed during the second full week of January.
- Teachers Pay Teachers– friendly letter lesson
- Teachers Pay Teachers– friendly letter templates
- Freedom Homeschooling– printable Christmas thank you notes
Free January Unit Studies and Lessons for Holidays, Historical Events, and Fun Days
New Year’s Day (January 1st)
New Year’s Day is the first day of the year. Many people celebrate with parties and fireworks on New Year’s Eve and stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year. Some people also set resolutions or goals for the New Year.
- The Best Ideas for Kids– New Year’s resolution printables
- Woo! Jr. Kids Activities– goal-setting worksheets
- Freedom Homeschooling– resources for learning about the calendar
- Freedom Homeschooling– printable planners and calendars
Paul Revere’s Birthday (January 1st)
Paul Revere, famous for alerting Colonial militia of the British invasion before the Battles of Lexington and Concord, was born on January 1, 1775.
Betsy Ross’s Birthday (January 1st)
Betsy Ross was born on January 1, 1752. She was an American upholsterer who is widely credited to have sewn the first American flag. However, many historians now say that there isn’t evidence to support this claim.
- Homeschool Helper Online– Betsy Ross mini-unit study and worksheet
- Year Round Homeschooling– American Flag unit study
- Learn Bright– Betsy Ross / American Flag lesson plan
Georgia‘s Statehood (January 2nd)
Georgia became a state on January 2, 1788.
Alaska’s Statehood (January 3rd)
Alaska was admitted into the Union on January 3, 1959.
Utah’s Statehood (January 4th)
Utah became a state on January 4, 1896.
George Washington Carver Recognition Day (January 5th)
George Washington Carver Day is observed on January 5, the day the pioneering botanist and educator died in 1943. We remember Mr. Carver’s many contributions to agriculture and science on this day.
- Learn Bright– lesson plan
- National Park Service– lesson plan and video
- Teachers Pay Teachers– reading comprehension passage and worksheets
- Teachers Pay Teachers– worksheet set
National Bird Day (January 5th)
National Bird Day was created by a partnership between the Avian Welfare Coalition and Born Free USA. The goal is to inform people about the welfare of birds in the wild and in captivity.
- Freedom Homeschooling– learning resources and a printable bird watching journal
- Happy Hooligans– bird feeder crafts
Epiphany (January 6th)
Epiphany is a holiday celebrated by many Christians to commemorate when the Magi, or Wise Men, visited Jesus after His birth. Epiphany is called Three Kings Day in many countries.
New Mexico’s Statehood (January 6th)
New Mexico became a state on January 6, 1912.
National Static Electricity Day (January 9th)
National Static Electricity Day is a time to learn about and have fun with static electricity. January may have been chosen for this holiday because static electricity is more common in cold, dry weather.
Connecticut’s Statehood (January 9th)
Connecticut was admitted into the Union on January 9, 1788.
National Milk Day (January 11th)
National Milk Day commemorates the first day, January 11, 1878, milk was delivered to homes in sterilized glass bottles.
- National Agriculture in the Classroom– lesson on comparing milk to milk substitutes
- Utah Education Network– milk unit study
- Young Minds Inspired– dairy farming lesson plans
Poetry Break Day (January 13th)
Poetry Break Day was created to encourage people to take a break to enjoy poetry.
National Hat Day (January 15th)
Wear your favorite hat today to celebrate National Hat Day.
- Artsy Craftsy Mom– hat crafts
- Homeschool Share– The Cat in the Hat printables
- Love Life Yarn– beginner knit hat patterns
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 16th)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day honors the work and legacy of the civil rights leader and minister. This holiday is observed on the third Monday of January because Dr. King was born on January 15, 1929.
- Freedom Homeschooling– list of videos
- The Notebooking Nook– notebooking pages
- NotebookingPages.com– notebooking pages
- Teachers Pay Teachers– mini-book printables
- Write Shop– “I Have a Dream” writing prompt
Prohibition Began (January 17th)
Prohibition, the banning of alcoholic beverages, began on January 17, 1920, when the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect.
National Popcorn Day (January 19th)
National Popcorn Day is a fun day to enjoy this delicious snack.
National Cheese Lover’s Day (January 20th)
On National Cheese Lover’s Day, enjoy your favorite cheese, try a new variety of cheese, or even make your own cheese to celebrate.
Chinese New Year (January 22nd)
Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the Chinese lunar calendar. The Chinese New Year begins at the new moon that falls between January 21st and February 20th.
- The Home School Mom– lessons, activities, and information
- ChineseNewYear.net– informative resource
- EDSITEment!– lesson plan
- Learn in Color– printable trivia game
National Handwriting Day (January 23rd)
The Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association established national Handwriting Day in 1977 to encourage people to write more. January 23rd was chosen because it was the birthday of John Handcock, who was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Opposite Day (January 25th)
Opposite Day is a day when people have fun and joke around by declaring the opposite of whatever they really mean.
- The Chaos and the Clutter– activity ideas
- Powerful Mothering– printable activities
- K12 Reader– synonyms and antonyms worksheets
Michigan’s Statehood (January 26th)
Michigan became a state on January 26, 1837.
The Discovery of Antarctica (January 27th)
Though sometimes disputed, the first sighting of Antarctica is widely believed to have happened on January 27, 1820, during the voyage of two Russian ships, the Vostok and Mirnyi, under the command of Captain Fabien Gottlieb von Bellingshausen.
- Education: Antarctic Science– lesson plans
- Discovering Antarctica– educational website
- Homeschool Scientist– unit study
- Teachers Pay Teachers– lesson plan
- Teachers Pay Teachers– research project
National Puzzle Day (January 29th)
National Puzzle Day is the perfect day to exercise your brain with a puzzle. It could be a jigsaw, crossword, Sudoku, trivia, word search, or any other type of puzzle.
- DLTK’s Site for Kids– printable jigsaw puzzles
- Puzzles to Print– crossword, word search, Sudoku, and more
- Education.com– crossword puzzle generator
Kansas’s Statehood (January 29th)
Kansas was admitted into the Union on January 29, 1861.
Have fun learning this January! I will add more free unit studies and lessons next year. Be sure to pin this post so you can find it next January. When you’re ready to start planning for next month, check out our February Unit Studies and Lessons.
This post was originally published on December 5, 2021, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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